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Gameday Coverage: No. 7 Penn State vs. Illinois

It’s time for game three, folks.

After two home wins, No. 7 Penn State football is hitting the road Saturday to take on Illinois in Champaign in the Nittany Lions’ Big Ten opener. The Fighting Illini are 1-1 to start the season after a difficult loss to Kansas a week ago, while Penn State dominated its opening opponents of West Virginia and Delaware.

While last week’s game against Delaware wasn’t televised on traditional networks, the Nittany Lions are back on the air as part of FOX’s Big Noon Kickoff. With a noon kickoff set, let’s dive into how to experience Penn State this weekend.


Penn State is on FOX for the first time this year, and the Nittany Lions are getting the network’s top crew. Gus Johnson and Joel Klatt will be on play-by-play and color commentary, respectively, while Jenny Taft will provide coverage from the sidelines.


Penn State Sports Network — Steve Jones and Jack Ham
Local: 99.5 & 103.7 FM/1450 AM, Sirius/XM/Internet: 83/83/978


The weather in Champaign will be similar to that in State College. Accuweather’s forecast predicts the game will start with temperatures around 72º and finish around 75º. The sun should be out throughout the whole gameday, though clouds are expected to come in around 8 p.m.

Last Meeting

Yes, that one.

Penn State dropped its last game to Illinois 20-18 in a nine-overtime thriller that gave the team its second loss in a 2021 season that quickly went downhill afterward. The game remains the college football contest with the most overtimes ever.


Penn State was without defensive end Amin Vanover, defensive tackle Coziah Izzard, and cornerback Daequan Hardy for its first two matchups of the season. All three players were full participants at practice viewing earlier this week, however, James Franklin declined to provide any updates on their availability for Saturday. Omari Evans has been questionable for the past two games but played against Delaware. Wide receiver and special teams ace Malick Meiga was also absent from last week’s contest.

Betting Lines

The Nittany Lions are -600 and 14.5-point favorites against Illinois, per FanDuel Sportsbook. The over-under is set at 48.5 points.

Media Coverage

Onward State will have you covered throughout tonight’s opener. Find big plays, analysis, photos, and more on our main Twitter account @OnwardState as well as play-by-play commentary from @OnwardStSports.

Football writers Joe Lister (@iamjoelister), CJ Doebler (@CDoebler), and Nolan Wick (@nolan_wick) will provide you with coverage from inside the Beaver Stadium press box.

Photographers Hailey Stutzman (@stutzhailey) and Mikey DeAngelis (@mikey_deangelis) will provide visual updates from the field.

Onward State

Penn State Football Without Notable Personnel Against Delaware

No. 7 Penn State Trounces Delaware 63-7

Drew Allar & Beau Pribula Share Snaps As Penn State Offense Flexes Depth

Penn State Football’s Defense Frustrates Delaware In Blowout Victory

Penn State’s Running Backs Deliver In Delaware Win

Penn State Football Stagnant At No. 7 In AP Poll

Gameday Observations: Delaware

[Photo Story] Penn State vs. Delaware

Penn State’s Post-Delaware Report Card

Analyzing Post-Delaware Reactions For Penn State Football

Penn State Football Opens As 14.5-Point Favorite Against Illinois

Four-Star Offensive Lineman Jaelyne Matthews Decommits From Penn State Football

‘He’s Doing All The Right Things’: Experience Strengthening Drew Allar’s Road Start Preparations

Next Men Up: The State Of Penn State Football’s Freshman

Penn State Football Long Snapper Tyler Duzansky Learning Mental Toughness As First-Time Starter

The Notorious History Between Penn State Football & Illinois

Staff Predictions: No. 7 Penn State vs. Illinois

Previewing The Enemy: Illinois Fighting Illini

Tight Ends Tyler Warren & Theo Johnson Working In Penn State Football Rotation

Penn State Football With Chance To Prove Itself Defensively Against Illinois

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About the Author

Joe Lister

Joe is a junior journalism major at Penn State and an associate editor at Onward State. He covers Penn State football, and enjoys yelling on Twitter about Philadelphia/Penn State sports. If you want to find him, Joe's usually watching soccer with his shirt off or at the gym with his shirt on. Please send all positive affirmations and/or hate mail toward him on Twitter (iamjoelister) or via email ([email protected]).

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